Last week, Reuters reported that 4,100 children suffered birth defects because their mother took Sanofi epilepsy drug valproate, or valproic acid, while pregnant. In 2010, WebMD reported that women who took the drug during their first trimester were “more likely to have children with birth defects than women who took other epilepsy drugs or no medicine to control their seizures during pregnancy.” Those defects include spina bifida, a hole in the heart, cleft palate, a urethra abnormality, extra fingers or toes, and craniosynostosis. Attorney Tom Robenalt welcomes you to contact his office with any questions you have about filing a claim against Sanofi. Below, you’ll find frequently asked questions about the manufacturer’s anticonvulsant.
Valproate is an FDA-approved drug that controls epileptic seizures by stabilizing electrical activity in the brain, NetDoctor said. “It is thought to achieve this by increasing the activity of a natural ‘nerve-calming’ agent called GABA in the brain.” Doctors also prescribe valproate to treat bipolar disorder and migraines. Brand names include Depakote, Depakene, and Stavzor.
Financial Times reported that the risk of birth defects was four times higher when women took valproate for epilepsy and two times higher when they took it for bipolar disorder. This is because women with bipolar disorder were prescribed the drug less often, the publication said.
According to Reuters, parents have said Sanofi failed to warn parents about potential adverse side effects quickly enough. Once potential birth defects were brought to the FDA’s attention, the agency issued the following advisories:
Sanofi was named in a class-action lawsuit in January, and one of the company’s former paralegals filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company in 2014. In 2015, CNBC reported that “she was aware of ‘many instances’ where Sanofi lawyers destroyed documents to avoid turning them over to opponents in prior legal cases.”
If you have questions about how to file a claim against Sanofi for the recklessness that caused birth defects, contact attorney Tom Robenalt by calling 216-223-7535, submitting this form, or emailing email@example.com today.